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Senate Passes Legislation to Cap Rent Share At 30% of Income for Poor New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS

 

Aligns NYC HIV/AIDS Service Administration with Other Rental Assistance Programs

(Albany, NY)-On Tuesday the New York State Senate decisively passed legislation, prime sponsored by Senator Thomas K. Duane, that would cap at 30 percent of income the rent contribution of people receiving housing assistance from the New York City HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA). 

 

“This long-overdue legislation will not only improve the health and well-being of some our most vulnerable New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS, but it will also save money by keeping people in their homes and out of our City’s shelters and hospitals,” said Senator Duane.  “Moreover, it will bring HASA into line with every other rental assistance program in New York State.”

 

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance instead mandated several years ago that HASA clients who receive shelter assistance and have other forms of income, such as SSI, SSDI, veteran’s benefits or work, pay all but $344 a month toward their rent.   This amount – which works out to about $11.49 per day – is the entire sum these HASA clients have to spend each month on nutritious food, transportation, utilities, toiletries, clothing, laundry and other basic necessities.

 

The bill previously passed the Senate by a vote of 52-1 on July 17, 2009 following a dramatic floor speech by Senator Duane, but it was not taken up by the Assembly last Session.  In this year’s session, Assembly Member Deborah Glick shepherded the bill to passage in the Assembly on January 12, 2010 by a vote of 84-54.  The bill will now go to the desk of Governor David Paterson.

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